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Embraer’s E-Freighter Program Nears Completion
The Brazilian manufacturer is on track to begin certifying the aircraft by year end.
Embraer is set to unveil its E-Freighter program, a Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion initiative launched in 2022. The company recently teased the new design with a sneak peek of the first E190F nearing completion in a captivating video shared on its social media channels.
The E-Freighter program encompasses the conversion of passenger jets into efficient cargo carriers. The initial focus is on the E190F model, with plans in motion for the subsequent conversion of the E195F variant. This process involves a comprehensive overhaul of the aircraft, including the reinforcement of the floor, installation of cargo-specific infrastructure such as rails and bulkheads, firewalls, and a newly crafted front fuselage to accommodate a spacious cargo door.
Embraer boasts impressive specifications for the E190F, capable of covering distances up to 3,723 km (2,313 miles) with maximum payload or an extended range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles) with maximum volumetric load. The larger E195F offers a range of 3,000 km (1,864 miles) with maximum payload and an extended 3,945 km (2,451 miles) with maximum bulky loads. The E190F will carry a payload of up to 10,700 kg, while the larger E195F model will carry up to 12,300 kg.
The E-Freighter is strategically tailored for the express delivery sector, capitalizing on the absence of an aircraft of similar size in this niche. Currently, the market features turboprops like the ATR 72-600F and converted jets like the Boeing 737-800BCF and Airbus A320P2F. The modification enables the transport of palletized cargo through dedicated cargo doors on the main deck.
Key modifications integral to the P2F conversion encompass the installation of a forward cargo door on the main deck, a cargo handling system, floor reinforcement, rigid cargo barriers, and a sophisticated smoke detection system in the cargo hold, complemented by class “E” extinguishers in the upper cargo compartment. Specific adjustments are made to the air management system, including cooling and pressurization, along with interior removal and provisions for the transportation of hazardous materials.
Nordic Aviation Capital emerges as a significant player in this venture, securing 10 conversion slots for the E190F/E195F models. As the launch customer, they are set to take deliveries in 2024. Astral Aviation, a Kenyan cargo airline, is poised to be the first beneficiary of the P2F program.
According to Cargo Facts, Embraer plans to begin flight tests soon and it has already started ground tests. The company stated that it expects to hand its first converted freighter over for certification with Brazilian authorities by the end of this year, with those in China and the U.S. to follow.
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